Wyatt: Johnny Sain, a tale of two careers

From Daniel Wyatt at The National Pastime Museum on February 28, 2018:

Johnny Sain was a quality pitcher who won 20 games in four different seasons with the Boston Braves from 1946 to 1950. Traded to the New York Yankees in mid-1951, Sain gradually transitioned from decent spot starter to valuable full-time closer by 1954. Sain must have learned a thing or two about pitching along the way, because after he retired from active duty in 1955 with the Kansas City Athletics, he went on to become the best pitching coach ever in the game.

Sain first considered coaching pitchers in his later years as a Yankee, encouraged strongly by Manager Casey Stengel and pitching coach Jim Turner. In addition, while in the bullpen, Sain spent hours talking to third-string catcher and bullpen coach Ralph Houk about the finer points of pitching. Houk admitted later: “Just listening to him, I knew I wanted him as my pitching coach.”

Kansas City was Sain’s first coaching stint in 1959, but he quit after only one season when he saw premium players Roger Maris, Ralph Terry, and Hector Lopez traded to the Yankees in the off-season for very little in return. Sain couldn’t stomach remaining with a team that didn’t want to win.

Read the full article here: https://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/johnny-sain-tale-two-careers

Originally published: February 28, 2018. Last Updated: February 28, 2018.